Punjab government comes to rescue of potato farmers

The state's chief minister decided to reduce the Market Fee and Rural Development Fee on potatoes.

Published: 24th February 2017 10:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2017 10:01 PM   |  A+A-

A labourer prepares to unload sacks of potatoes from a truck at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market. (File Photo | Reuters)


CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government today directed the Punjab Agro and Markfed to effectively intervene in the market on 'no profit no loss' basis to bail out potato growers from the current low pricing crisis and help them realise better rates to them.     

Chairing an emergency meeting to take stock of the prevailing situation here, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal decided to reduce the Market Fee and Rural Development Fee (RDF) on potatoes from 2 per cent each to 0.25 per cent.     

In addition, Badal also decided to slash the rates of commission charged by the commission Agents from 5 per cent to one per cent with immediate effect.      

The Chief Minister also asked the Punjab Agro and Markfed to explore the feasibility of export potential of potatoes to Russia, Dubai, Iran, Sri Lanka and other countries for which the state government would subsidise the freight.      

Besides, the agriculture department had also been directed to undertake distant marketing of potatoes in other parts of the country to ensure better prices to the growers.     

The Chief Minister also asked the agriculture department to ensure rational utilisation of storage capacity of cold stores across the state to curb the malpractices of hoarding in cold storage space.     

It was also decided in the meeting to issue an advisory to the department of education and jails beside for other government institutions for optimum utilisation of potato in the mid-day meal scheme and for the consumption of jail inmates for rich nourishment, which would also boost the sale of potato in the state, an official spokesman said

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